Gulf Coast Yellow Cab helping to fight crime

Published: Oct. 15, 2012 at 4:17 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM CDT
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Taxi cabs are helping fight crime along the Gulf Coast.
Taxi cabs are helping fight crime along the Gulf Coast.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hailing a cab now has an entirely new meaning around the Gulf Coast. Taxis on Patrol, or TOP, is a neighborhood watch on wheels program. Gulf Coast Yellow Cab is teaming up with law enforcers, hoping to improve community safety.

"The mission of this program is just to double the eyes and ears for the local safety officials here on the road," said Southern Taxi Group Vice President Paige Coker.

It's those additions that have Gulfport and Biloxi police departments proud to be on board with this program.

"It's a mobile, neighborhood watch. I think it's very important. It really could be valuable to law enforcement," said Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara.

"Probably 85 percent of crimes that we solve have a connection to the public," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller.

Coker is hoping to strengthen that public link with this campaign.

"We're here for the long haul. It's part of our civic duty as corporate citizens to do this job," said Coker.

The program will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it's bringing state of the art technology with it.

"Really, the camera is one of our biggest assets. Because if we see something, we reach up, we hit a button, and we automatically lock in anything in front of the car, in the car, or behind it for that matter," said Gulf Coast Transit President Mike Fowler.

When drivers see suspicious activity, they report it.

"We have trained all our drivers to never intervene. We are not the police. We are simply there to observe and report," said Coker.

It's a national program that has local enforcers sure about one thing.

"Well certainly it's going to make the streets safer," said Chief Miller.

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